By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Gopher volleyball opens the NCAA Tournament Friday against Bryant. That’s hardly the caliber of the Big 10 schedule they have conquered, but it’s also the reward for a number two overall seed.

There is a lot to like about their chances.

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The Gopher volleyball team lost its only Big 10 Match last Friday at Penn State, but that’s not all bad.

“We talk all the time about the margins being really thin at this level, between winning and losing. I think it was certainly well exemplified in that match,” coach Hugh McCutheon said.

This team is built better than most heavy hitters, with an All-American setter who knows how to scout them.

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“I love every game, every time we go out there,” Taylor Morgan said. “Seeing how heavy everybody hits, and just how well. All the range that everybody has.”

On top of the home court advantage, the Gophers will fill it with fans. How would you like to be one of the teams coming in to knock off the Gophers? At home for the entire tournament, in fact, in some respects. That fan base matters.

“We know that if we’re down we can feed off that energy to help us get back up and get on a run,” Adanna Rollins said. ”

This team won’t talk a lot about a national championship, but that doesn’t mean they lack confidence.

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“We’re like gears in a machine,” Morgan said. “We all just fit together, and when we’re going, man, there’s just no stopping us.”

Mike Max